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Gary Vegh and Sarah Sajedi deepen their investment in Concordia’s Gina Cody School

The alumni couple has committed more than $400K in support of engineering research and innovation
August 17, 2023

Curtain window of a building, with the words, "Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science" printed on the glass in black and yellow font.

Concordia alumni Gary Vegh and Sarah Sajedi have a keen interest in supporting students and research at Concordia’s Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science. Known for establishing the ERA Environmental Bursary from 2016 to 2022, the couple has also been financing research initiatives for several years, specifically those led by computer science and software engineering professors Weiyi (Ian) Shang and Tse-Hsun (Peter) Chen.

Woman with short, grey hair standing behind a man with her hands on his shoulders. Sarah Sajedi and Gary Vegh.

‘Generosity and vision’

Vegh, BSc 88, GrDip 92, and Sajedi, BSc 91, are co-founders of ERA Environmental Management Solutions, a leading provider of environmental, health and safety software. With a history spanning more than 27 years, the company developed some of the world’s first air emissions management software and continues to innovate within the industry.

Today, ERA’s comprehensive software service platform serves as a powerful tool for diverse industries such as oil and gas, automotive, aerospace and chemicals, among others.

The couple has allocated more than $400,000 in direct support of important research initiatives at the Gina Cody School. A significant portion of this amount, $315,000, has been directed to Shang’s research in software engineering.

His work is focused on the development and refinement of ultra-large-scale systems — software systems of remarkable size and complexity. Shang’s research also uses empirical methods to understand and improve software development processes and products.

Vegh and Sajedi’s funding has supported several of Shang’s projects, which have dealt with automated logging guidance for performance engineering, enhancing the quality and efficiency of ERA’s systems and proactive software performance assurance.

They also contributed $105,000 to Chen’s Software PErformance, Analysis and Reliability (SPEAR) lab, which employs machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to enhance software quality and generate important business insights. Their investment specifically supported Chen’s Towards High-Quality and Intelligent Database-Centric Application” project from 2020 to 2023, aiming to significantly improve the quality and functionality of ERA’s database-centric applications.

“We are more than thankful for the generosity and vision of alumni like Gary and Sarah,” says Mourad Debbabi, dean of the Gina Cody School. “Their dedication is integral to our mission of nurturing the next generation of innovators. It is their support that helps us in our journey towards excellence.”

In addition to their contributions to research, Vegh and Sajedi funded the annual $60,000 ERA Environmental Bursary until last year. This commitment provided financial relief to students entering the fields of sciences, engineering and computer science, allowing them to focus on their studies without undue financial strain.

Learn more about the
Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Concordia’s Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.


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